"Popol Vuh (also Popol Wuj or Popul Vuh or Pop Vuj) is a text recounting the mythology and history of the Kʼicheʼ people, one of the Maya peoples, who inhabit Guatemala and the Mexican states of Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo, as well as areas of Belize, Honduras and El Salvador.
The Popol Vuh is a foundational sacred narrative of the Kʼicheʼ people from long before the Spanish conquest of the Maya. It includes the Mayan creation myth, the exploits of the Hero Twins Hunahpú and Xbalanqué, and a chronicle of the Kʼicheʼ people.
The name "Popol Vuh" translates as "Book of the Community" or "Book of Counsel" (literally "Book that pertains to the mat", since a woven mat was used as a royal throne in ancient Kʼicheʼ society and symbolised the unity of the community). It was originally preserved through oral tradition until approximately 1550, when it was recorded in writing. The documentation of the Popol Vuh is credited to the 18th-century Spanish Dominican friar Francisco Ximénez, who prepared a manuscript with a transcription in Kʼicheʼ and parallel columns with translations into Spanish.
Like the Chilam Balam and similar texts, the Popol Vuh is of particular importance given the scarcity of early accounts dealing with Mesoamerican mythologies. After the Spanish conquest, missionaries and colonists destroyed many documents."